Rangers recently signed 6’ 4” Croatian international defender Nikola Katić from Slaven Belupo who play in the Croatian top league. He was identified by Gerrard as one of his main defensive targets and he finally bought his chosen centre half for a reputed £2million.
The highly rated 21-year-old was delighted to join Stevie Gerrard at Ibrox on a four-year deal that will make him the fourth Croatian internationalist to play for the world record holding Glasgow-based club.
If he is almost as good as the supremely talented Dado Prso and Nikica Jelavic, and does better for Rangers than Niko Kranjcar he will become a new-modern-day Croatian legend at Ibrox. Everyone has told him about the two former Croatian stars who did an amazing job at Ibrox, and now has to keep up to that standard.
Nikola can’t wait to pull on a Rangers jersey in earnest after all the hard work and enjoyment he experienced in the successful 10-day training camp in Malaga. The Ibrox club were only allowed one day off, before Gerrard and his wonderful coaching staff had the team back in training and working exceptionally hard, at their own Hummel Training Centre in Glasgow.
His new centre half partner Connor Goldson, having witnessed Katić’s talent during numerous training sessions and his 45-minute friendly performance, found himself raving about Nikola’s ability, and is looking forward to playing alongside him in a regular Rangers starting XI, possibly starting tonight against Bury.
There is no doubting that young Katić is a ball winner, dynamic in the air, a strong tackler, very mobile and is the aggressive centre half that every team craves for. He is also terrific on the ball and will hopefully prove to be an excellent all-round-defensive player.
Interestingly Goldson and Katić have worked together as part of a back four and have also deployed a back three set-up during numerous training sessions. This will obviously depend on who the ‘Gers are playing against, but at least they are now ready for whatever system Gerrard asks of them.
Katić, who already has a full international cap, is very much an enthusiastic no-nonsense, battle-hardened player who is happy to get stuck in when called for. He believes his robust style will perfectly suit the SPL and is ready for his task ahead this season.
By joining the Ibrox club and playing to his full potential, Nikola is hoping he will force his way back into his Croatian international team.
Gerrard knew that signing young, tall, high quality centre backs, was going to cost money and also a slice of luck to attract these players to Glasgow. Stevie G has a fabulous world-wide reputation, and thankfully, this goes a long way to attracting good players who want to join his new Ibrox revolution.
According to Katić’s agent, he was preparing to sign for Spartak Moscow, but when he heard that Steven Gerrard and Rangers wanted him, it was a no-brainer and a quick change of heart by Nikola, to ply his trade in Scotland.
Welcome aboard Nikola!